EP Review: Young Thug – On The Rvn

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

One of hip-hop’s most enigmatic figures, Young Thug, has shared his latest offering, an EP entitled On The Rvn. The EP follows a stream of releases from the Atlanta rapper this year, including his album Slime Language (released in August) and EP, Hear No Evil (released in April). Though it’s not without its flaws, On The Rvn gives listeners a taste of the finer elements of his unique style of rap.

The EP opens up with the title track, which talks about running from the cops. The opening track’s placement (and the title) may be deemed as strategic given he recently had some problems with the law with drug-related charges. The track was produced by long-time collaborator London on da Track, who boasts three production credits on the EP, and Cubeatz. Unclear whether the track is intended to be an intro, its length feels too long and repetitive. Aside from its lengthy nature, the production is solid and its marriage with Thug’s melodic rapping style is a desirable match.

On the next track ‘Icey’, Thug plays with tone and breaks into singing-mode. Though the lyrics are often difficult to hear when he starts singing, it’s a technique he has perfected over the course of his career. On ‘Icey’, he manipulates the track’s flow and talks about being wealthy.‘Climax’ features 6lack, and is somewhere in-between a down-tempo and mid-tempo track. Again, we see Thug move between singing and rapping with ease. Its instrumental merges shadowy trap percussion with the delicate strum of the guitar, and it’s intriguing. It would have been a nice addition to his previous mixtape, Beautiful Thugger Girls. ‘Real In My Veins’, which appears towards the end of the EP, is a personal and reflective track that sees Thug muse about his own identity and current life events.

If you’re a fan of Thug’s heavy hitting trap releases, the EP’s next song ‘Sin’ will satisfy all your needs. ‘Sin’ is classic Thug, but much more polished and improved. Produced by London on da Track, ‘Sin’ is ferocious. The electronic drums are powerful and the darkened beats are absolutely entrancing. Thug raps in a low, yet confident, tone and his ability to ride a beat as powerful as London on da Track’s creation is a testament to him. Jaden Smith, who features on the track, is a welcomed addition to ‘Sin’.

The EP concludes with the unlikely sounds of Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’, which has turned the classic hit into an ode to getting high. ‘High’ is a fitting way to end the EP, and though the combination may seem odd, it works beautifully.

On The Rvn might not present anything groundbreaking by the rapper from East Atlanta, but it does succeed in providing a diverse collection of sounds reminiscent of his best releases from the past.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)